Egypt sends four Brotherhood members to death for HQ violence
CAIRO – Anadolu Agency
Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie. Reuters photoAn Egyptian court on sentenced four Muslim Brotherhood members to death - two in absentia - on Feb. 28 over charges of killing demonstrators outside the group's headquarters in 2013, a judicial source has said.
The court also slapped 14 Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including top leader Mohamed Badie and his two deputies Khairat al-Shater and Rashad Bayoumi, with life sentences each over the same charges, the source said.
The charges relate to violence that erupted in June of 2013 outside the Brotherhood's headquarters in Cairo's Moqattam district, during which nine people were killed and scores injured.
The Feb. 28 verdicts are subject to appeal.
Last December, a court had referred the four Brotherhood members to the grand mufti, Egypt's top religious authority, to consider possible death sentences against them over charges of killing demonstrators outside the group's headquarters.
The opinion of the mufti is not binding to the court, but Egyptian law makes it necessary for judges to seek a religious point of view on any death sentence.
Egyptian authorities have unleashed a massive crackdown on the Brotherhood since the bloody dispersal in mid-2013 of two sit-ins staged by supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi during which hundreds of demonstrators were killed.
Egypt's army-backed authorities have since rounded up thousands of the Brotherhood's senior and mid-ranking members, hundreds of whom remain in detention.